As trial awaits, Clearwater official receives pay

CLEARWATER — A city investments manager accused of fondling a 12-year-old girl during his daughter's Girl Scout trip has been placed on unpaid suspension while officials decide on their next move.

But Steve Moskun, 54, continues to receive his regular city salary, about $73,000 a year, by filing for months of paid vacation in the time before his trial.

In May, according to a report by Orange County sheriff's detectives, Moskun traveled with his daughter's Girl Scout troop for a weekend trip to WonderWorks, an amusement park on Orlando's International Drive.

Another girl in the troop said Moskun walked up behind her while she was waiting in line for lunch at the food court. Moskun, she told detectives, said "Boo" and reached through her armpits to grab her breasts.

The grab lasted two seconds, she said. After that, Moskun got in line for lunch.

The girl told her troop leader, Lisa Hashey, about what happened with "Mr. Steve" on their way back to Clearwater, the report states. A warrant was issued for Moskun's arrest. Last month, Moskun was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation and was extradited to Orange County.

Moskun posted a $50,000 bond and was released from jail. A trial date has not been set. Moskun did not return messages this week.

His attorney, Curtis Crider, questioned the detectives' investigation. He said surveillance video footage from WonderWorks shows no inappropriate touching.

"It's not a crime," Crider said. "It's kind of baffling to me."

Moskun has not returned to work since his arrest and is currently on administrative leave. He has asked for his off-time to count as vacation so he can continue to earn wages. As of Thursday, he had 15 weeks left of accumulated vacation that he didn't use from previous years.

Moskun was hired in 1994 as the city's cash and investments manager. In recent years, he has helped oversee nearly a billion dollars in the city's invested operating funds and employee pensions.

Before his hire, Moskun had worked for the city of Safety Harbor, including as its finance director, for more than a decade. He resigned while under investigation in a sexual harassment case, saying he didn't believe he would get a fair hearing.

Contact Drew Harwell at dharwell@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4170.

As trial awaits, Clearwater official receives pay 03/03/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2011 7:43pm]

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